Mark Tredinnick: Fire Diary

Walking the line

Brendan Ryan

 

Fire Diary
by Mark Tredinnick
Puncher & Wattmann, $24 pb, 105 pp, 9781921450402

 

Mark Tredinnick’s much-anticipated first collection of poetry, Fire Diary, is an examination of place and how to respond to it. The title provides a clue to the form of the book; many poems chart the daily exigencies of living within nature. More importantly, the collection explores the moods and aspirations of the self, of a person grappling with meaning in life, and with language itself. In the title poem, Tredinnick argues, ‘Fire is the madness / in us all’, a Heraclitan take on the element; fire becomes the metaphor for creativity, passion, and contradiction. Yet Tredinnick’s motives are not wholly earnest. His intent is often playful and suggestive, as when he says in ‘Song of (Someone Like) My Self’, a riposte to Whitman’s grandiose ‘Song of Myself’: ‘I’m just a small metaphor / for the world hereabouts.’ Informality is a key element in Tredinnick’s use of language; ‘hereabouts’ strikes just the right note in its implication of place that is both personal and general enough to be any place.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in September 2011 no. 334

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.